University rankings, 2014

By Ronan Lyons

February 26th, 2014

Always a controversial topic, the latest university rankings by QS have been published. More details here. The aim is to identify the top 200, meaning something of an abrupt stop once they get to 200. (I feel the need to put a disclaimer here that I post this not because I stand over the ranking’s exact methodology, but rather rankings such as these are used by both prospective students and policymakers, hence they are important.)

Of interest to this readership, the ranking of Economics Departments in Europe is here. Trinity features in the 51-100 cohort and UCD in the 100-150. (Digression: nice to see a popular ranking recognise the bounds of uncertainty, although this may not be the best way to do it.) Six of the top seven Economics departments in Europe are British, with one each from Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and France also in the top dozen.

9th-level Ireland has a handy table of Ireland’s top ranking departments across all disciplines from 2011 to 2014. Four departments (all in TCD) are in the top 50 in their discipline. A further 18 are in the 51-100 group (including three law departments).

Class divides and European integration, yet again

By Kevin O’Rourke

February 25th, 2014

This morning’s Eurointelligence briefing put me on to this article in Les Echos, which in turn led me to this Ipsos opinion poll. It contains several sobering findings, notably with respect to foreigners. But the finding that struck me most — since this is something I have been writing about for years now — is that a majority of French working class voters now want to leave the Euro. Indeed, only 34% of French workers think that EU membership is a good thing.

Isn’t it amazing how short run blips in various economic indicators can lead powerful people to assume that all is well with the EMU project? It is slow moving variables — long term unemployment, gradual shifts in public opinion, and so on — that pose the greatest threat to the Euro’s survival. If the far right does as well as people now seem to think it will in the European elections, this will presumably be presented in the media as a “shock” to the system, but has it not been obvious since 2010 at the latest that something like this was likely, given Eurozone macroeconomic policies? And has it not been obvious for years that actually existing EMU is harming the broader European project?

Europe’s political leaders should remember what Ernest Hemingway said about bankruptcy.

Ireland: The Kindness of Strangers

By Philip Lane

February 20th, 2014

The new issue of The Economist has a special report on “Companies and the State,” with Ireland featuring in this article.

The Troika and financial assistance in the euro area: successes and failures

By Philip Lane

February 20th, 2014

Bruegel report here.

Lending Where Banks Can’t, Blackstone Thrives in Ireland

By Philip Lane

February 19th, 2014

Landon Thomas writes in the NYT here.

Research Economist position at TCD

By Philip Lane

February 16th, 2014

Details via TCD jobs site here.   (Set competition type to Research and Department to IIIS.)

The Eiffel group: for a Euro community

By Kevin O’Rourke

February 14th, 2014

Here.

I dare say it will strike most people as pie in the sky, but it makes sense that people who want to preserve the Euro start formulating proposals such as this. Two reasonable conditions attaching to any such proposal seem to me to be that: (a) entry to any such community be decided by popular referenda in each country; and (b) that there be some sort of Connecticut compromise in place so that the rights of small states are protected.

Benoît Cœuré: Exchange of views on the ECB’s role in the troika

By Philip Lane

February 14th, 2014

here.

Mody on “Europhoria”

By Kevin O’Rourke

February 13th, 2014

Here.

IGEES launches new website

By David Madden

February 13th, 2014

The Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service has launched its new website at http://igees.gov.ie/

Trinity Economic Forum 2014

By Philip Lane

February 12th, 2014

This student-run event takes place this weekend and features an excellent set of guest speakers: details here.

One of the speakers is Casey Mulligan (Chicago) - recent WSJ interview/profile here.

NERI Labour Market Conference: Call for Papers

By Philip Lane

February 12th, 2014

Details here.

The economic and fiscal contribution of US investment in Ireland

By Philip Lane

February 12th, 2014

This paper by Keith Walsh (Revenue Commissioners) is illuminating on the taxes paid by US firms in Ireland and explains the differences between Revenue-sourced tax data and the BEA-sourced data - here.

Effective Tax Rates

By Seamus Coffey

February 11th, 2014

The issue of effective tax rates, especially for the corporate income tax, rightfully continues to attract a lot of attention.  The front page of The Irish Times features a story by Carl O’Brien which is based on a recent paper produced by Prof. Jim Stewart.  The paper argues that:

“data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis gives a more accurate estimate of effective tax rates for US subsidiaries operating in Ireland and elsewhere. This data shows that for 2011, US subsidiaries operating in Ireland have the lowest effective tax rate in the EU at 2.2%.”

The paper provides a useful critique of the World Bank/pwc report on effective tax rates but to argue that the BEA data tells us anything about effective tax rates in Ireland is wide of the mark.

For Ireland, the BEA data indicate that, in 2011, US companies here had $144 billion of net income and paid an affective tax rate of 2.2 per cent.  The low effective tax is correct but it wasn’t achieved in Ireland.

There is nothing close to $144 billion of US MNC profits in Ireland.  Such massive profit figures do not appear in the statistics produced by either the CSO or the Revenue Commissioners.  The gap between GDP and GNP is large but it is not that large. 

The post continues below the fold. Apologies for the length.

Read the rest of this entry »

Grattan PhD Scholarships at TCD Economics

By Philip Lane

February 10th, 2014

Thanks to generous donations from alumni, TCD Economics is offering some PhD scholarships. Details here.

Consumer Costs and Inflation in Ireland

By Philip Lane

February 7th, 2014

FORFAS report here.

German court refers ECB bond-buying programme to ECJ

By Philip Lane

February 7th, 2014

FR report here.

Irish Economy Conference Slides and Recordings

By Stephen Kinsella

February 7th, 2014

Sincere thanks to Geary’s Mark Hargaden who processed the recordings from last week’s conference. For each speaker there is an audio recording synchronised with the slide show. There is a separate link to slides only, for those who do not want to listen. Unfortunately, due to a technical hitch, we did not secure an audio recording from Paul Gorecki, but we do have his slides.

Here is the link, with recordings/slides linked to the programme.

We can see the evolution of the conference over the last three years from this site as well, with previous years linked here and here.

Ireland’s Report Card: February 2014

By Philip Lane

February 4th, 2014

here.

ECB makes progress with asset quality review, and confirms stress test parameters for comprehensive assessment

By Philip Lane

February 3rd, 2014

here.

Economics and Finance Teaching Before and After the Crisis

By Stephen Kinsella

February 1st, 2014

Brian Lucey and I conducted a survey of all university teachers of economics and finance in December 2013. A presentation of our findings is here (.pdf). Brian’s thoughts are here.

The main results from the sample of respondents are:

  • Teaching has not changed much in response to the crisis.
  • Attitudes to newer, or more critical material appear mixed at best.
  • Respondents emphasised the need for broader contextualisation and increased mathematical competence.We find it hard to see how to reconcile these findings.
  • EBA: Details on 2014 EU-wide stress test

    By Philip Lane

    January 31st, 2014

    here.

    Mody: The ECB is much too stodgy - the euro fuelled a leveraged bet that went bad

    By Philip Lane

    January 30th, 2014

    here.

    Squaring the Eurozone’s Vicious Circle

    By Philip Lane

    January 30th, 2014

    Garicano and Reichlin write here.

    ‘Hardball’ v ‘Equity Sale’

    By Seamus Coffey

    January 28th, 2014

    The Irish Times today features two contrasting strategies for dealing with the debt legacy created by the Irish bank bailout.

    An interview RTE’s Sean Whelan did with Willem Buiter is available here.

    Barrington Medal lecture

    By Ronan Lyons

    January 28th, 2014

    Yvonne McCarthy (Central Bank) will be giving her Barrington Lecture on Thursday evening in the ESRI. Full details here.

    The title, “Disentangling the mortgage arrears crisis: The role of the labour market, income volatility and negative equity”, gives an indication of its policy relevance.

    The financial crisis in Iceland and Ireland - what are the lessons five years later?

    By Philip Lane

    January 27th, 2014

    The speech by Mar Gudmundsson is here.

    Beyond the Programme: European Economic Governance and Ireland

    By Philip Lane

    January 27th, 2014

    The IIEA are hosting a half-day seminar tomorrow entitled ‘Beyond the Programme: European Economic Governance and Ireland’.

    Speakers will include:

    Michael McGrath, Assistant Secretary, EU and International Division of the Department of Finance

    Alan Dukes, Former Minister for Finance

    Donal de Buitléir, Director of Publicpolicy.ie

    Pat McArdle, Chairman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee at the European Banking Federation

    Dr John Bradley, Economic Modelling and Development Strategies and Former Research Professor at the ESRI

    Michael Tutty, Former Vice President at the European Investment Bank

    Further information and the seminar’s research papers can be found here.

    Attendance is open to all. To register contact daniel.ocallaghan at iiea.com with your name and affiliation.

    Miriam Hederman O’Brien prize

    By Philip Lane

    January 26th, 2014

    The details of this prize are available here.

    See also last year’s winning entry here.

    Weidmann Interview

    By Seamus Coffey

    January 24th, 2014

    The Irish Times have published the full transcript of an interview Derek Scally did with Bundesbank president, Jens Weidmann.  Related pieces here and here.